Published on: Jul 12, 2023
A generational shift is clearly underway with regard to the Indian Test pace battery, with bowlers like Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav being phased out. Some new faces have been added to the Indian squad for the two-match Test series against West Indies, and all eyes will be on how they fare as India set out on a new journey
With the first Test of the West Indies vs India Test Series starting on 12th July at the Windsor Park, Roseau, Dominica, here’s highlighting three bowlers to look out for.
Before we look at aour bowler picks for the tournament why not check out all the latest odds at Betway Satta
Fast bowler Alzarri Joseph finished as the highest wicket-taker for West Indies in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers 2023 in what was otherwise a massively disappointing campaign for the Calypso Kings. Despite Joseph picking 8 wickets from 5 matches, West Indies failed to qualify for the ODI World Cup for the first time in their history.
The champions of the first two 50-over World Cups, West Indies had already suffered losses to hosts Zimbabwe and Netherlands. Once they folded up for 181 and eventually lost by 7 wickets in a must-win Super Six clash against Scotland, it was all-over for the once dominant side.
Joseph, however, was one of the few shining lights for the side, and returned early from the ICC World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe to prepare for the home series against India. The bowler has the control and pace to trouble the Indian batters and with the tendency of the Dukes ball to move around, he will be a real threat for the visitors alongside accomplices Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel.
As always, there was much debate around Ravichandran Ashwin after India didn’t pick the veteran off-spinner in the WTC final against Australia, more so as India ended on the wrong side of the line. The bowler who has 474 wickets from 92 Tests is on the verge of 500 scalps in red-ball cricket and will want to make the most of his last phase in Test cricket.
Moreover, Ashwin has a great record against West Indies with both bat and ball, and will be licking his lips in anticipation of the upcoming series.
The Indian pace battery does pose a massive threat to the West Indian batters, but even if they get past the initial threat, they would have to contend with the Indian spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, and the West Indian left-handers will have to be particularly vigilant against the former.
Mohammed Shami had a disappointing outing in the WTC final against Australia and will like to make amends as the new WTC cycle kicks off. The pacer arguably has the best seam position in world cricket and is a handful for even the best batters in the game when in full swing.
In the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, Shami has done a lot of heavy lifting for India alongside Mohammed Siraj. He hasn’t found enough support from the likes of Shardul Thakur and Umesh Yadav, but with a new crop of pacers – Mukesh Kumar, Jaydev Unadkat, Navdeep Saini – coming into the Indian set-up, Shami would have to continue producing the goods to retain his position as the leader of the Indian pace battery.
The bowler has 229 wickets at 27.7 from 64 Test matches but many still believe that he hasn’t done justice to the great talent he possesses. The two-match Test series against West Indies and the upcoming WTC cycle – which can well be his last – bring a great opportunity for the classical bowler to hit 300 Test wickets and drag his Test bowling average to under 25.